Sample Logistics Paper on Maritime Transport System Security
The global maritime transport system (MTS) is faced with a variety of security threats and challenges, ranging from natural disasters to manmade threats. The Maritime Transport Committee (7-9) discusses some of the threats faced by global MTS. Such threats are categorized into the target for the threats. For instance, threats of terrorism and terror activities are linked to vessels as well as to the bulk shipments carried by the vessels. Vessels pose a risk to the system as entire vessels can be used as weapons of war. In addition to this, vessels themselves are under the constant threat of terrorism. Terror activities targeting vessels can destroy entire vessels through the use of goods being transported. For instance, ammonium nitrate which is a known fertilizer and also a potentially powerful explosive can be a serious threat to vessels and to the crews using them. Terrorism also poses a threat to the system through modern day piracy. The Maritime Transport Committee (11) describes organized gangs that operate in the South- East Asian waters where they target ships carrying cargo as well as oil. People can also be a significant threat in that it has been reported that most of the pirate activities occur through collaboration among people, mostly whereby allies to the attackers are onboard the ship. In some cases, maritime transport agencies or rogue individuals within them form alliances with pirates thus posing a threat to the maritime system.
Besides the man- made threats discussed, the MTS also faces significant natural threats from various directions. These pose a threat to the infrastructure as well as to the human resources operating within the systems. Some of these threats include geomagnetic storms; geophysical accidents; extreme weather events and the rise of sea level (Rodrigue par. 12- 14). Threats such as geomagnetic storms and geophysical accidents can result in diversion or complete destruction of the MTS resources. The New Madrid Seismic zone is one of the geophysical environments that pose a threat to the MTS as vessels may be diverted due to the tectonic movements associated with the area. It can also result in complete sinking of vessels. It is therefore important that various actions be taken by the maritime transport authority to ensure that the MTS is as safe as possible. Some of the actions that have improved the performance of the system and reduced the threats significantly include the widening of the Panama Canal, development of mega ports and use of western rivers in the transportation of hazardous substances. The widening of the Canal and the construction of mega ports have improved the capacity of the MTS, thereby resulting in greater potential for growth and protection against the man- made threats. Furthermore, separation of the MTS for hazardous substances makes it possible to control what goes into the system and what remains. It also helps in effective planning to avoid subjecting other vessels to the threats of harm from bulk shipments.
To curb the threats to the system, the National Strategy for Maritime Security (7-8) has established a series of recommendations which are being applied to ensure the system remains safe. Some of these strategies include: review of the risk management systems, development of a national and international MTS regulatory system; coordination among stakeholders; training of crew and other players in the maritime transport system and identifying and credentialing individuals operating in commercial vessels and land- based MTS facilities (National Strategy for maritime Security 9).
Maritime Transport Committee. Security in maritime transport: Risk factors and economic impact. OECD: Directorate of Science, Technology and Industry, 2003. Retrieved from www.oecd.org/newsroom/4375896.pdf
National Strategy for Maritime Security. Maritime transportation systems security recommendations for the National Strategy for Maritime Security, 2005. Retrieved from www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/HSPD_MTSSPlan_0.pdf
Rodrigue, Jean- Paul. Transportation and disasters In Rodrigue J.P. The Geography of transport systems. Routledge, 2017. Retrieved from people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch9en/conc9en/ch9c5en.html